I made my career choice - and established my signature look - early in life.  

I made my career choice - and established my signature look - early in life.

 

I am told that I have been in love with paleontology from the age of 2 ½, when my father gave me my first dinosaur book. Since then, I have taken part in fossil-hunting expeditions throughout the badlands of the American West, the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, the canyons of Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, the pampas of Argentina, and the volcanic ash beds of Northern China. I am a former student of the great Canadian paleontologist (and one of my childhood heroes) Dr. Philip J. Currie. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Macalester College and a master’s degree and PhD in Evolution and Systematics from the University of Alberta.

My current research focuses on evolutionary arms races between dinosaurian predators and prey. I work to understand the biomechanics and evolution of dinosaur locomotion, with emphasis on the important role that dinosaur tails played in walking and running. I am also fascinated by the early pre-flight evolution of feathers, and I am engaged in a long-term collaborative research project with my friend and fellow University of Alberta alumnus, Dr. Lida Xing, which is tackling the sizable task of documenting the previously neglected Mesozoic track-record of central China.  

Posing at my desk with the foot of a Velociraptor – same genus as the puppet in the childhood image above.

Posing at my desk with the foot of a Velociraptor – same genus as the puppet in the childhood image above.